Agenda item

Outreach Services (New Secondary Outreach Service)


Kelly Crompton and Julie Day to report.


Recommendation:-  That the report be received and the contents noted.


Consideration was given to an update on the Outreach Service presented by Kelly Crompton, Head of Service, which confirmed how in the spring term 2020, the ISOS Partnership was commissioned to undertake a strategic review of support for Inclusion and Alternative provision (AP) for pupils KS1 – KS4 in Rotherham.


The aim of the review was to identify factors needed to strengthen support for inclusion and the use of Alternative Provision (AP) in Rotherham which included secondary outreach.


Consultation had, therefore, taken place with schools on the development of a secondary outreach model that met the needs of Rotherham pupils and school with a strong emphasis reducing the need for permanent exclusion, support for school staff to meet short and long term SEMH needs and driving system wide improvements in inclusive practice across our schools.


This included direct support with pupils, access to staff training, advice on graduated response, modelling techniques with staff and development of inclusive learning environments within school settings and provision of family support sessions on school site.


The provision was to be tailored to the young person and, following referral, designed in consultation with the young person and commissioners.


Details of the providers considered along with the proposed offer and impact were outlined and it was confirmed that Secondary Outreach was to be provided by Aspire following collective decision as the current preferred provider.


The Outreach offer and pathway had been shared with secondary school/academy leaders in summer term 2022 and at first Inclusion Event on 1st July 2022 as well as summer term 2022 SENDCo Network events.


Secondary Outreach provision began on the 1st September 2022, and partnership meetings would take place each week.  Secondary Inclusion Panels would also take place on a monthly basis as the referral routes to outreach provision.


The representative from Aspire also confirmed the processes for Outreach were now in place, including recruitment to outstanding posts.  An update was provided on what was required and what was being captured as a vehicle to support.  Further information would be forwarded to Forum Members.


Other representatives asked about the scope for this provision to be extended given that children with more complex needs were presenting much earlier and who would greatly benefit from some form of outreach provision.


It was pointed out that secondary outreach was part of the Safety Valve arrangements within a four to five year plan.  This detail was commensurate with other areas of mainstream need and Early Years provision.  There was provision to focus on other areas with some flexibility.


It was noted that the High Needs Sub-Group had been looking into the detail provided by the ISOS Partnership and the challenges being faced in primary years, some of which were very complex.


The Forum, therefore, would investigate the opportunities that may be available to look at transitions through the primary phase and how this could link to existing options and whether there was any mechanism to shape services.  This would identify and fill gaps, especially for those children who were elective home educated where their access and need may be limited.


It was, therefore, suggested that these issues and concerns be brought back to the next meeting in order to provide reassurance with graphical data in the form of a presentation and for this to be on the agenda for the High Needs Sub-Group to also consider, especially with the increased concerns for challenges following the pandemic.


Agreed:-  (1)  That the update be received and the contents noted.


(2)  That consideration be given to a further presentation on the challenges facing Early Years and primary education with children presenting more complex needs.

Action:-  Kelly Crompton/Nathan Heath